COEASU Won’t Back Down

Nyesom Wike, new minister of education

The three-month old strike embarked upon by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union is not likely to end soon following a deadlock in the meeting its national officers had with the federal government team on the issue

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Mar. 10, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

THE Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, has vowed not to call off its three-month old industrial action in view of the fact that the February 25, discussion it had with the federal government on the issue ended in a deadlock. Olayanju Abolaji, COEASU chairman, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, said the strike would continue until the union’s demands were met.

He said COEASU’s National Executive Council met with the federal government representatives, led by Emeka Worgu, minister of labour and productivity, on Thursday, February 20, but failed to reach an agreement because government’s offer to the striking workers was not appreciable.

“COEASU is not ready to take empty promises. The federal government must be committed to implementing our demands to an appreciable level before we can call off the strike. We are ready to call off the strike, even today if it is necessary, but that is if there is a commitment on the part of the Federal Government,” he said.

According to Abolaji, the union would not relent in its struggle to improve the standard of the Colleges of Education. He said government was yet to give the cash backing needed to cater for the needs of the Colleges of Education as reported to it by the Needs Assessment Committee. “The Needs Assessment Committee set up by the Federal Government has visited the colleges, collated their needs and sent the cost implication to the government. But we are yet to receive the cash backing to that effect.”

ThankGod Ogbomah, COEASU zonal secretary, South-South, said there would be no suspension of the strike until the federal government met their demand. “The National Officers’ Council of COEASU has been in negotiation with the Federal Government for over six months on these issues and came to the conclusion that the government is only paying lip service to the demands of our great union. The only language the government understands is strike, and so we have resolved to stand by our national officers’ council until the desired result is achieved,” he said.

COEASU had, on December 31, 2013, declared an indefinite nationwide strike to press home its demands for better funding. It had complained about the poor state of infrastructure in the colleges, as well as poor funding. The union also rejected the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, already operational in the federal civil service and the non-implementation of the 2010 federal government and COEASU agreement.

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